Saddam Hussein is to be hanged very soon. Good coverage via Pajamas Media here.
Predictably, there are some who believe that Hussein should not be executed.
For the record, here is a sample of Hussein's legacy:
- Mass murder of Iraqi Shi'ites, including attempts to wipe out the Shi'ites in the marshes area in southern Iraq. Many mass grave sites have been uncovered with the capacity to hold tens of thousands of people.
- Mass murder of Iraqi Kurds. In one instance in 1988, he was responsible for the death of 5,000 Kurds in Halabja through the use of chemical weapons.
- Torture of thousands of Iraqis who lived in a fear state for decades. People were put into industrial shredders feet first, so that they could remain alive for as long as possible to experience the pain. Children and babies were physically tortured in front of parents to get the parents to confess to crimes, whether committed or not.
- The invasion of Kuwait, that resulted in the death, rape and torture of thousands of Kuwaitis, all war crimes.
- US$25,000 payments to families of Palestinian suicide bombers (up from US$10,000 before 2002), thereby funding terrorism.
- Use of chemical weapons and firing of Scud missiles into civilian areas of Iran during the Iran-Iraq war, two war crimes.
- Firing of Scud missiles into civilian areas of Israel during the first Gulf War, a war crime.
Those not directly affected by his brutality are free to argue against capital punishment.
One final question: if Iraq authorities record the execution for Iraqi TV, who else outside of Iraq will show it?
UPDATE: Graphic (though not gratuitous) video taken by a witness on a mobile phone camera is on Google Video here. It seems Western news media showed the lead-up to the execution, but not the execution itself.
In the case of murderous dictators, the widespread witnessing of their deaths serves an important purpose. The immediate audience is the average viewer, but the ultimate audience is the not-so-average dictator still in power.